McElroy Sweetness

Mother and Child

I love when things come together in a neat and tidy circle. As I started back with photography I spent considerable time thinking about what kind of work I wanted to do, the types of sessions, the business I wanted to create. One of the the ideas that is deeply rooted in these musings is a desire to celebrate motherhood and femininity. The idea of doing mother and child sessions is certainly not a new one but one I want to keep crafting and developing. Thankfully I have friends that are willing to indulge me in this work and back in May I was able to share a few different sessions of this sort with two of them being sisters-in-law.

Because I like those neat and tidy circles, when I found out Chrisann, another McGee family mama, was going to be visiting I crossed my fingers that we would be able to do a mother and child session with her. I was conflicted over asking because I know time with her family is precious and I didn’t want to take away from that but she was agreeable and we made it happen and oh, dear goodness, I am so glad we did!

I have photographed Chrisann many times over the years in family pictures, some engagement pictures, and we even did a sunrise bridal session so there was something particularly fun about getting to photograph her in this stage of life too.

Just look at how precious her babies are!

I have other pictures of Sophia smiling but this particular shot just stops me in my tracks.

And Jonathon is just a great big chunk of love! His happy gets all over his face when he smiles and you just want to eat him up.

Elisabeth Elliot said that the process of shaping a child shapes the mother as well. Chrisann, motherhood is shaping you in beautiful ways and your children are precious. Thank you for letting us spend this time together so that my McGee mama circle is closed.

Mothering Little Ones

Mother and Child

For those of you who don’t know I am mother to five children. My oldest was born in 1995 and my youngest was born in 2006. The three middle children were born in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Yep, you read that correctly. I was pregnant three years in a row. As you can imagine the first five years of new millennium are sorta hazy to me. Parenting little ones is not for the faint of heart and requires a continuous watchful eye else the natives will stage a coup.

These dear friends of ours work with much grace, patience, and love to tend their young children and consequently they are a delight to be around. And the consequence of the consequently is this session was just so enjoyable! I had to wait to share their images because they were making their way to the homes and hearts of a couple of grandmothers but Mother’s Day has passed and I can finally put a few of my favorites here on the blog.

I have so enjoyed shooting at this particular field of wildflowers this year and although we did these on the tail end of the blooming season we had just enough color to make for a pretty landscape. I think the pretty flowers came in second place to the wild blackberries the kids picked and ate though. Regardless, the smiles were as plentiful as the berries and the pictures turned out just so lovely!


Whenever I do family sessions I try to make sure that among the group portraits I include smaller groupings as well. Individuals and just the siblings, just mom and dad, girls only and boys only, etc. This is probably one of my most favorite sibling images I have ever captured. Such beautiful children and since I know them personally I can tell you they really are a joy to be around.

I have three of my own so sister pictures have a special place in my heart. And honestly, have you ever seen so much beautiful hair?

And while I may not have brothers how can you look at these and not feel your heart flutter at the handsomeness?

The afternoon was so perfect with gorgeous light and happy cooperative subjects…it’s the kind of thing photographers dream about.

Dad is not pictured since these were part of my mother and child series but he is a teacher at my girl’s school. He and his lovely wife also run Fox’s Farmstead and it has been so interesting watching and learning about how they raise pastured animals and grow such an abundant garden. Right now they are raising chickens that will produce a clean high quality meat and soon you will be able to purchase them since they do sell to the public. They also have an abundance of goats and egg laying hens, and even a peacock and maybe a goose still hanging around. They practice regenerative farming and if nothing else you should check out their facebook page and see the amazing before and after photos of prepping their pasture land.

True story: last year they were raising pigs and since baby pigs are cute everytime people were over they wanted to see them. And they all came back talking about how these pigs smelled like maple syrup. I was skeptical but went on a pig smelling quest on one of my visits and sure enough, the big ol’ fat pigs did indeed smell like maple syrup! Apparently fat happy pigs who have plenty of room to roam give off the scent of syrup. Who knew?